Second base is often considered one of the thinnest positions in fantasy baseball. The drop-off in overall talent after the first five or six players is fairly substantial with respect to standard rotisserie and head to head leagues, but in daily salary cap baseball you can use that to your advantage when developing your winning strategy.
Without having to spend big bucks on one of the top second basemen each day, you can sift through the bargain bin here and still find cheap yet productive players to use while spending the rest of your cap money on bigger power players at other positions. The following is a list of the top five sleepers at second base this year who will give you solid production at a nice, low cost.
Jason Kipnis, CLE (2011 Point Total: 145) – He didn’t receive as much fanfare as other rookies in 2011 and that should help keep his price down to start the season. But Kipnis is a strong contact hitter with developing power and solid speed. He moved quickly through the Indians’ system because of his plate discipline and high on-base percentages and should continue to develop with regular playing time in the majors this season. He’s definitely got the potential to hit 15-18 home runs with an equal number of stolen bases this year.
Jose Altuve, HOU (148) – Altuve is a great contact hitter who uses his speed to his advantage. He will hit out of the two-hole this season which should net him roughly 600 plate appearances and with a strong batting average on balls in play to go with his contact rates, he should be on base quite a bit. With few strikeouts and strong 30 stolen base potential, he’ll quietly be a nice asset at second with a very low cost.
Aaron Hill, ARI (146) – Once a powerhouse at the position, Hill began to fall off the map over the last two and a half years. But with a move to Arizona at the trade deadline last year, he completely turned things around, batting .315 with two home runs, 16 RBI and five stolen bases. He may not return to that rate of production completely, but as the number two hitter for the Diamondbacks, he’ll see plenty of opportunities to try.
Jemile Weeks, OAK (353) – Weeks impressed everyone with his plate discipline and contact rates last season and has already been tabbed as the A’s leadoff hitter in 2012. He may not have much in the way of power, but with strong on-base skills, he can probably be counted on for upwards of 30 stolen bases this season. Look for him to also dominate in the runs scored department as he’s got a few run producers hitting behind him now.
Dustin Ackley, SEA (262) – He’s a high-profile rookie in the fantasy world, but he should still come cheap to start the season in daily salary cap games. He doesn’t have a lot of power or speed, but his strength will come in the form of low strikeouts and solid total bases. He’s always had strong on-base skills and should continue that trend in 2012 as the Mariners number two hitter.